A few years ago while I was conducting a small personal campaign to inform the general public to monitor and to limit access to violence and addictive on-line and video games by teenagers. I was verbally insulted via phone by a man claiming to represent Consumers Association of Penang (CAP). It is indeed a surprise to read the following statement by the President of CAP which appear in The Star today. To summarize it, he has called for the banned of violent video games and entertainment.
I have nothing against on-line and video games. In fact, a few of my best friends operates on-line games companies. The difference is, they operate it in a responsible manner to provide real home entertainment. Some on-line and video games are just simply not suitable for teenagers. Based on my personal observations, some of these on-line games are simply too violence, anti-social, anti-religion, and worst still, they are addictive. I still maintain the belief that all on-line and video games must be classified and regulated to enable the general public to be aware of the dangers of excessive exposure.
I still firmly believed, the manifestation of increasing violences and criminal acts are partly contributed by excessive exposure to addictive and violent on-line games.
Let's hope that the various regulatory and enforcement agencies of the government can start taking the initiatives to act against irresponsible on-line and video games providers.
The following statement appears on Jan 24th 2006 in The Star :
A RECENT study by the University of Missouri-Columbia in the United States has shown that there is a link between violent video games and aggression.
The researchers from the university found that people who played violent video games had a diminished brain response when shown images of real-life violence.
A form of brain activity named the P300 response, which reflects the emotional impact of an image on a viewer, was measured in 39 experienced video game players.
Video games have previously been used to prepare soldiers for scenes of combat. When game players were given the chance to punish a pretend opponent in separate games, those with the most reduction in P300 brain reactions gave out the most severe punishments.
Public attention has already been drawn to the fact that there is an alarming rise of violence in our society. We have too much violent “over-reaction” to even the most minor incidents. Take, for instance, the cases of road rage.
Even teenagers and those in their early 20s are being detained for violent crimes such as assaults, murder and rape.
Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad once gave his opinion that there were too many foreign films associated with sex and violence. Nowadays, even many cartoons contain incidences of violence and revenge-seeking.
Research has shown that exposure to media violence causes children to behave more aggressively, both immediately and when they are older.
We call on the authorities to ban violent entertainment. We have no need for violent video games or aggression-based films and cartoons.
It is entirely possible for society, especially children, to be entertained minus the violence.
Films that encourage good values should be promoted. There is nothing to lose and everything to gain.
S.M. MOHAMED IDRIS,
Consumers Association of Penang.